The bad economy has brought new construction to its knees, and slowed renovation work to a crawl, but there are "must-do" projects in most homes and some builders and contractors won't be side-tracked by the money crunch.
Cutting costs has become a necessity for even the most strident workers, however, and a recent report from the Northwestern News Network points to a non-profit, green option that's well worth considering.
The Rebuilding Exchange, located in Chicago's Brighton Park neighborhood, is an agency that collects used building materials from sustainably deconstructed buildings and sells them to the public at a low cost.
Erika Brekke's report states that recycling old building materials -- ranging from sinks to doors to windows -- prevents them from filling landfills, while saving on cost.
The Exchange "allows anyone from low-income households, artists, or contractors to make new use out of these materials, many of which are not only perfectly functional, but also unique and attractive," the article says.